Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

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Act current to 2019-02-28 and last amended on 2019-01-19. Previous Versions

PART 9Voting (continued)

Polling Day (continued)

Proceedings at the Poll (continued)

Marginal note:Presence of representatives

  •  (1) A candidate or the candidate’s official agent may authorize any number of representatives of the candidate to be present at a polling station, but only two of each candidate’s representatives may be present at any time.

  • Marginal note:Representatives may absent themselves from poll

    (2) A representative of a candidate, or an elector described in paragraph 135(1)(d), may leave a polling station at any time and return at any time before the counting of the votes begins and is not required to produce a new written authorization from the candidate or official agent or to take another oath.

  • Marginal note:Moving between polling stations

    (2.1) Despite subsection (2), a candidate’s representative may, either before or after the counting of the votes begins, go from one polling station to another if those polling stations are in the same polling place. However, once the representative leaves the polling place, he or she is not permitted to return after the counting of the votes begins.

  • Marginal note:Examination of list of electors and conveying information

    (3) A representative of a candidate may, during voting hours,

    • (a) examine the list of electors, provided that the representative does not delay an elector in casting his or her vote; and

    • (b) convey any information obtained by the examination referred to in paragraph (a) to a representative of the candidate who is on duty outside the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Photographs, recordings and communications devices

    (4) A candidate’s representative

    • (a) shall not take any photograph or make any audio or video recording at a polling station; and

    • (b) shall not, if he or she uses a communications device at a polling station, impede any elector from exercising their right to vote or violate the secrecy of the vote.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 136;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 45.

Marginal note:Candidate may act as representative

  •  (1) A candidate may perform the duties of a representative of the candidate, or may assist the representative in the performance of those duties, and may be present at any place that the representative is authorized to attend under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Non-attendance of representatives

    (2) The non-attendance of a representative of a candidate at any time or place authorized by this Act does not in any way invalidate any act or thing done during the absence of the representative if the act or thing is otherwise duly done.

Marginal note:Initialling ballots

  •  (1) Before a polling station opens on polling day, and in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present at the polling station, the deputy returning officer shall initial the back of every ballot in the space indicated in Form 3 of Schedule 1, entirely in ink or entirely in black pencil so that when the ballot is folded the initials can be seen. The initials shall be as similar as possible on each ballot.

  • Marginal note:Ballots not to be detached

    (2) For the purpose of initialling, the ballots shall not be detached from the books in which they are contained.

  • Marginal note:Vote not to be delayed

    (3) The opening of a polling station shall not be delayed for the purpose of initialling the ballots. Ballots that are not initialled when the polling station opens shall be initialled as soon as possible and in all cases before being handed to electors.

Marginal note:Counting of ballots before opening of poll

 Candidates or their representatives who are in attendance at least 15 minutes before a polling station opens are entitled to have the ballots intended to be used at the polling station carefully counted in their presence and to inspect the ballots and all other documents relating to the vote.

Marginal note:Examining and sealing ballot box

 When the polling station opens, the deputy returning officer shall, in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present, open the ballot box and ascertain that it is empty, and shall

  • (a) seal the ballot box with the seals provided by the Chief Electoral Officer; and

  • (b) place the ballot box on a table in full view of all present and ensure that the box remains there until the polling station closes.

Admitting Voters

Marginal note:Calling electors

 Immediately after the ballot box is sealed, the deputy returning officer shall call on the electors to vote.

Marginal note:Electors not to be impeded

  •  (1) The deputy returning officer shall ensure that every elector is admitted into the polling station and that the electors are not disturbed when they are in or near the polling station.

  • Marginal note:One elector at a time

    (2) A deputy returning officer may, if he or she considers it advisable, direct that not more than one elector for each voting compartment may at any time enter the room where the voting is held.

Marginal note:Elector to declare name, etc.

  •  (1) Each elector, on arriving at the polling station, shall give his or her name and address to the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk, and, on request, to a candidate or his or her representative.

  • Marginal note:Proof of identity and residence

    (2) If the poll clerk determines that the elector’s name and address appear on the list of electors or that the elector is allowed to vote under section 146, 147, 148 or 149, then the elector shall provide the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk with the following proof of the elector’s identity and, subject to subsection (3), his or her residence:

    • (a) one piece of identification issued by a Canadian government, whether federal, provincial or local, or an agency of such a government, that contains a photograph of the elector and his or her name and address; or

    • (b) two pieces of identification of a type authorized under subsection (2.1), each of which establishes the elector’s name and at least one of which establishes the elector’s address.

  • Marginal note:Authorized types of identification

    (2.1) The Chief Electoral Officer may authorize types of identification for the purposes of paragraph (2)(b). For greater certainty, any document — other than a notice of confirmation of registration sent under section 95 or 102 — regardless of who issued the document, may be authorized.

  • Marginal note:Person registered as an Indian

    (2.2) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(b), a document issued by the Government of Canada that certifies that a person is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act constitutes an authorized piece of identification.

  • Marginal note:Alternative proof of residence

    (3) An elector who proves his or her identity by providing two pieces of identification of a type authorized under subsection (2.1) that establish the elector’s name may instead prove his or her residence by taking an oath in writing in the prescribed form — the form including the statement that he or she has received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(1) — if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling division who

    • (a) proves their own identity and residence to the deputy returning officer and poll clerk by providing the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), respectively; and

    • (b) attests to the elector’s residence on oath in writing in the prescribed form, the form including the statements that

      • (i) they have received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(2),

      • (ii) they know the elector personally,

      • (iii) they know that the elector resides in the polling division,

      • (iv) they have not attested to the residence of another elector at the election, and

      • (v) their own residence has not been attested to by another elector at the election.

  • Marginal note:Proof of residence

    (3.1) If the address contained in the piece or pieces of identification provided under subsection (2) or paragraph (3)(a) does not prove the elector’s residence but is consistent with information related to the elector that appears on the list of electors, the elector’s residence is deemed to have been proven.

  • Marginal note:Request to take an oath

    (3.2) Despite subsection (3.1), a deputy returning officer, poll clerk, candidate or candidate’s representative who has reasonable doubts concerning the residence of an elector referred to in that subsection may request that the elector take the prescribed oath, in which case his or her residence is deemed to have been proven only if he or she takes that oath.

  • Marginal note:Examination of identification documents

    (3.3) A candidate or their representative may examine but not handle any piece of identification presented under this section.

  • Marginal note:Voting

    (4) If the deputy returning officer is satisfied that an elector’s identity and residence have been proven in accordance with subsection (2) or (3), the elector’s name shall be crossed off the list and, subject to section 144, the elector shall be immediately allowed to vote.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — attesting to residence of more than one elector

    (5) No elector shall attest to the residence of more than one elector at an election.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — attesting to residence (own residence attested to)

    (6) No elector whose own residence has been attested to at an election shall attest to another elector’s residence at that election.

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (7) The Chief Electoral Officer shall publish each year, and within three days after the issue of a writ, in a manner that he or she considers appropriate, a notice setting out the types of identification that are authorized for the purpose of paragraph (2)(b). The first annual notice shall be published no later than six months after the coming into force of this subsection.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 143;
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 21, c. 37, s. 1;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 46;
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 93(E).
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